Best Ways To Switch Tasks To Avoid Burnout
Published on January 5th, 2022
Updated on March 12th, 2022
Burnout is something we all experience sometimes. It occurs when we are overwhelmed and exhausted by our daily responsibilities. Feelings of burnout most often surface in a person after a prolonged time in which we are expected to perform. For example, an accountant may experience burnout in late March, after 3 months of preparing taxes for their clients. Burnout can impact productivity and mental health, so it is important to manage your day to prevent it from happening.
Burnout cannot always be avoided, and sometimes taking an extended vacation to relax and recharge is not an option. Even when this is the case, you do not need to surrender to burnout. Knowing methods of preventing burnout can help a lot with maintaining motivation and mental wellness at work. One important method of preventing burnout while staying productive is knowing how to switch tasks without making more work or causing stress for yourself.
There are key ways to switch tasks while preventing burnout. The more you adopt methods of task management while preventing burnout, the more easily you will be able to perform at work without getting overwhelmed or exhausted. Consider using the following methods of switching tasks to prevent burnout.
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Set Realistic Goals
To prevent burnout, set realistic goals for yourself. Setting realistic goals helps reduce the pressure you put on yourself. It also helps with keeping on track when planning your workdays. Setting realistic goals for yourself provides an outline of tasks that need to be completed.
To set realistic goals, remember that for each goal you set you will need to complete a list of objectives. Objectives are tasks that will need to be completed to achieve the goal. Objectives are important because they list out the tasks that may be addressed in your workday.
Know What You Are Working On Before You Get Started
Know what tasks you will be working on before diving into your day. When you have a plan for tasks you want to work on in your day, the guessing and snap decisions are removed from the equation. Going into a workday with a plan helps to limit the pressure you put on yourself to be productive. It takes the guesswork out of your work hours and gives you a blueprint of what you will complete.
Knowing what tasks you are working on before starting your day also helps you track your productivity. Being able to check off tasks on a to-do list helps you stay organized and gives you options for switching tasks when you need to do so. This has long-term benefits of preventing burnout and feeling confident in your work.
Schedule Breaks In Between Tasks
Scheduling routine breaks in between tasks is very important for preventing burnout. Our brains and bodies run on energy. We overwork ourselves when we exhaust all of our energy in only a few hours without refueling. Taking breaks in between tasks helps by refueling energy stores in the body and brain. It also allows time for self-care, an important part of managing stress and promoting mental health.
Taking frequent short breaks and one longer break can be enough to keep you energized and prevent burnout. The breaks do not always have to be long. Whether you have 15 minutes to take a walk around the block, 10 minutes to chat with a coworker, or 2 minutes just close your eyes, mental time away from the to-do list helps with switching gears and refueling for the next task.
Know Your Availability
Having times when people know you are not available can be a great way to prevent burnout. While intentions are usually innocent, the people we work with can put extra work on our plates, or expect us to switch tasks too often. Having to stop what you are doing to switch gears and tend to someone else’s agenda halts your productivity and takes focus away from the tasks you need to complete.
It is okay to not be available sometimes. You do not always have to be available, and you are not responsible for carrying the weight of a team. Take advantage of methods to limit your availability to others who want you to work on tasks that are different than what you have planned. Setting yourself to Away or allowing calls to go to voicemail are great ways to create work boundaries and give you time to work on tasks that you need to complete.
Personal boundaries also help to prevent burnout. When you are at work, set and stick to your work start time and end time, along with your break times. Commit to not being available to others when you are on your break and outside of your set work hours. This prevents burnout by giving yourself mental time and space for self-care.
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